CFB Information of the Week: Jan. 29, 2021


Georgia pull 2022 five-star QB Gunner Stockton

The Bulldogs aren’t any strangers to pulling elite QB recruits as of late. In 2016, it was Jacob Eason. In 2018, it was Justin Fields. In 2020, they lured former five-star JT Daniels away from USC as a switch. 2021 five-star Brock Vandagriff is headed down the pipeline for subsequent season. All of these pulls are with out even contemplating a number of the top-end four-star recruits the Bulldogs pulled over that span, together with three-year starter Jake Fromm.

Now Georgia has one other five-star coming in scorching. Although greater than a 12 months out from him having the ability to take the sector for the Bulldogs, 2022 five-star QB Gunner Stockton made his dedication to Georgia this weekend.

Stockton, a sturdy 6-foot-1 and 220-pound Georgia native, at present sits because the high dual-threat QB within the nation per 247 Sports activities’ composite ranking. He has made a reputation for himself largely on account of his skill to get transferring and make performs out of the pocket, as his dual-threat label suggests. Stockton could not have essentially the most blistering pair of burners, however he’s greater than cell to make loads of SEC defenders whiffing and has the arm expertise to throw comfortably on the transfer.

At his measurement, Stockton can also be a terrific participant for hard-nosed QB dashing ideas, equivalent to energy, counter, and draw. Stockton’s obtained the identical beefiness to him that Dan Mullen-style quarterbacks like Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott had been in a position to make use of on these exact same dashing ideas. Getting some QB run recreation into the combo at Georgia could possibly be a enjoyable solution to see their offense open up down the road.

RBs on the transfer: Eric Grey to Oklahoma, Keaontay Ingram to USC

Switch season typically brings a handful of moments with some key transfers going by means of at about the identical time. We obtained that this week with a number of the greatest RBs on the “free agent market” discovering their new locations. Former Tennessee RB Eric Grey is now at Oklahoma, whereas former Texas RB Keaontay Ingram is headed to the west coast to play for USC.

Grey’s dedication to Oklahoma got here simply days after a report that Oklahoma and Texas had been all the way down to his final two decisions. On the one hand, Ingram was out the door at Texas, leaving some potential snaps for Grey. However, Texas already has a stud RB in Bijan Robinson, so it made extra sense for Grey to maneuver to a extra open Oklahoma backfield. Throughout his time at Tennessee, Grey dealt with 258 carries for 1,311 yards (5.1 YPC) and eight touchdowns whereas snagging 43 passes for 369 yards and three scores over the course of two seasons.

Ingram, in contrast, had began to lose carries in direction of the top there at Texas. He earned over 250 carries by means of 2018 and 2019, however when Robinson obtained to campus for 2020, Ingram ended up getting buried a bit. That doesn’t make Ingram a foul participant — he was lots efficient when he noticed the sector throughout his three years as a Longhorn — it’s simply that he’s not the particular, game-changing expertise Robinson appears to be, and that’s okay.

Now with the Trojans, Ingram will get a brand new likelihood to show he shouldn’t have been pushed down the roster. The Trojans backfield rotated between Vavae Malapeai, Stephen Carr, and Markese Stepp, however none of them ever actually ascended into a number one roll. Whether or not or not Ingram will, who is aware of, however he is obtained a good shot to take the highest spot in a reasonably open backfield.

Josh Heupel changing Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee

In goes a defensive-minded head coach, in comes an offensive guru. It’s a story as previous as time and the Tennessee Volunteers are simply the most recent to inform it. With Jeremy Pruitt being fired with trigger over an NCAA investigation associated to recruiting violations, the Vols have tapped UCF HC Josh Heupel to be their new head coach.

A former quarterback himself, Heupel spent a lot of the first decade of his teaching profession as a QB coach, and later OC, with the Oklahoma Sooners. After 2014, he left for a one-year stint with Utah State earlier than heading east to Missouri. Heupel coached now-NFL QB Drew Lock for a few seasons in 2016 and 2017, through which Lock threw for over 7,500 yards in addition to 67 touchdowns.

Heupel’s final cease at UCF was his first as a head coach. He kicked off his tenure with the Knights with a banger, going 12-0 by means of the common season and incomes faint CFB playoff whispers earlier than narrowly dropping to LSU within the Fiesta bowl. Every season after that obtained barely worse, nevertheless, because the Knights went 10-3 in 2019 and 6-4 in a whirlwind 2020 season. Nonetheless, the UCF offense nonetheless completed top-15 in ESPN’s SP+ ranking for these two seasons, which is particularly contemplating they had been enjoying Dillon Gabriel, a real freshman in 2019, at QB within the wake of Mackenzie Milton’s devastating knee damage.

The younger head coach will want to verify his defensive workers is sound and allow them to deal with that facet of the ball, however Heupel ought to be capable to deliver a spark to a lackluster Tennessee offense. Heupel is an enormous proponent of spreading the sector with 4 and 5 large receivers and attacking down the sector as typically as attainable. How briskly Heupel can get issues circled is to be seen, however we will at the very least anticipate a brand new taste on offense.

Pat Fitzgerald sticking round at Northwestern by means of 2030

Pat Fitzgerald may all the time get purchased out. Everybody has their value. If a high program actually comes calling, there must be a suggestion Fitzgerald wouldn’t be capable to refuse. With Fitzgerald’s decade-long extension this week, nevertheless, it sounds like all form of deal to get him out of Northwestern must be an absolute splash.

The brand new extension retains Fitzgerald round till 2030. Given the workforce’s current success, particularly relative to anybody’s expectations of this system, it’s laborious to make the case Fitzgerald just isn’t deserving. Whereas the 2019 season was a little bit of a catastrophe because the squad completed 3-9, Fitzgerald has gained at the very least seven video games in each different season since 2015, together with two 10-win seasons.

Fitzgerald even proved his fortitude and figure-it-out-ittude in bouncing again from that 3-9 season. He frolicked persevering with to construct up the protection whereas bringing in Indiana switch QB Peyton Ramsey to steer the offense. Whereas Ramsey was no world beater, his mere competent stage of play allowed Northwestern’s third-ranked protection (per SP+) to take over video games.

Heading into 12 months 16 because the Wildcats’ head coach, Fitzgerald holds a 106-81 report with 5 bowl wins.

SEC coaches going professional: Former Tennessee HC Jeremy Pruitt to Giants, Florida OC BrIan Johnson to Eagles

The SEC is dropping a ton of coaches to the professionals as of late. Some had been fired, some merely selected to go away for a greater alternative, however loads of strong coaches bailed nevertheless you wish to cube it.

Former Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is essentially the most notable departure. Pruitt’s exit from Tennessee was warranted given the recruiting investigation he introduced on and he could not have been lower out to be a head coach (but), however that’s to not say he’s a nugatory coach. Pruitt remains to be defensive thoughts, significantly with respect to the Nick Saban tree of coverages. By all accounts, Pruitt is a great coach and instructor for his facet of the ball. He even has a training clinic for split-field coverages towards 3×1 units on Youtube that’s packed full of information, if you wish to see for your self. Anyway, that pool of data will now be serving a job on the New York Giants.

BrIan Johnson, former OC for the Florida Gators, is a lesser recognized departure, however nonetheless an enormous one. Simply 33 years previous, Johnson has labored by means of the ranks as a QB coach for about 10 years now, beginning at Utah in 2010. By 2014, Johnson discovered himself on Dan Mullen’s Mississippi State workers as a quarterbacks coach in the course of the Dak Prescott period. Johnson left in 2017 for a one-year trip at Houston as their OC, earlier than returning to Mullen’s facet at Florida from 2018 and on. Johnson took over OC duties, along with being the QB coach, in 2020 because the Gators offense exploded. After all, a lot of the burden of the offense nonetheless lies on Mullen himself, however having the OC title for a 12 months like that’s enormous. It’s no shock Johnson was in a position to internet himself his first professional job because the Phialdephia Eagles QB coach after a 12 months like that.



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